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Watch your vehicle, police warn after warm-up thefts

A pair of Wednesday morning warm-up thefts in Vaughan has police reminding drivers to be careful with their cars.

On Nov. 4 at about 6:30 a.m., a Toyota Camry was stolen from a Martin Grove Road driveway, police say. The car was left running with the doors unlocked. It was left unattended for less than three minutes.

Another car, this time a locked Volkswagen Jetta, was taken from a driveway on Giancola Crescent, police say.

Police don’t know yet if the two incidents are related and there are no suspect descriptions.

Since September, York police have investigated 11 warm-up thefts. A significant number of those have been in Vaughan, police say.

Cars that go missing after being left alone to warm up on cold days are typically stolen by someone looking for an opportunity, police say.

Drivers can prevent crimes like these by heeding a few safety tips from York police:
• Don’t leave your vehicle running and unattended at gas stations, convenience stores, bank machines or any other public place, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
• At home, keep car keys out of sight, not near the door.
• Don’t leave your vehicle running and unattended unless it’s equipped with a keyless remote starter, or you’ve locked it and have a spare key with you.
• Park your vehicle in a locked garage when possible.
• Be aware of suspicious people and vehicles, and report suspicious activity to police.
• Consider installing a vehicle-tracking system to help find it in the event it is stolen.

Vaughan Today
Online: November 8, 2009 [link]